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Dr. Donnica's Top Ten Tips for PMS Management

  1. Discuss your situation with your physician. Work together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Follow it!
  2. If you smoke, quit.
  3. Practice stress management: many of the symptoms of PMS are unpredictable and emotionally draining. This can be very stressful and can exacerbate your condition.
  4. Regular exercise may reduce your risk of PMS altogether; exercising once you have symptoms (even though you may not feel like it) will reduce the symptoms you experience for that cycle.
  5. Take a daily, non-prescription multi-vitamin; discuss any other supplement needs with your physician.
  6. Be sure to get an adequate daily intake of calcium (1,200 mg/day).
  7. Eat a well balanced diet; don't skip meals.
  8. Reduce intake of caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, and salt.
  9. Enlist the support and understanding of friends and loved ones.
  10. Try to get regular, sufficient sleep.

Important Questions to Ask Your Physician if You Think You Have PMS or PMDD

  1. Should I be taking any dietary supplements?
  2. Are there any other illnesses that could be causing my symptoms?
  3. Should I be evaluated for other conditions such as low blood sugar, under-active thyroid, or depression?
  4. Could this be related to any medications I might be taking (including birth control pills)?
  5. Do I have PMS or PMDD?
  6. Could my symptoms be related to perimenopause?
  7. Am I a candidate for prescription drug therapy for this condition?
  8. What medicines should I be taking to combat PMS?

Can PMDD be Prevented?

Because doctors are not exactly sure what causes PMS or PMDD, there is currently no proven prevention. However, you may be able to alleviate some symptoms by leading a healthier lifestyle or changing other medications.

There is no cure, per se, for PMS other than menopause. As discussed above, there are many strategies for effective management, and many interventions, which may decrease the symptoms significantly. Whatever your choice of therapy, remember that you're not committed to that choice for life! The other good news about PMS unlike other recurrent conditions is that you won't have it for life: PMS ends with menopause if it hasn't already disappeared after age 40 (although many of the symptoms of perimenopause are very similar to having PMS). You and your physician will monitor your progress and your comfort level with your treatment plan. If there are factors that change - including your level of satisfaction - discuss this with your physician.

What Men Should Know About PMS and PMDD

The main thing that men need to know about PMS or PMDD is that jokes about PMS may be hazardous to your health! In all seriousness, PMS is serious and PMDD is very serious. Be supportive and understanding; but most of all, be thankful that you don't have to go through these symptoms every month.

Click here for more information on clinical trials which may be of interest to you.

Created: 11/28/2000 - Donnica Moore, M.D.

Parent Category: Disorders